Children and Youth Behavioral Military and Family Life Counselors

Everyone in a military family has to cope with deployments, relocation, and the other demands of military life. But those demands may be most difficult for children, who may have to start over repeatedly in new schools, have little or no control over where they go, and generally lack the coping skills of adults. Children and Youth Behavioral Military and Family Life Counselors (CYB-MFLCs) understand the issues military children face and can provide support to meet their individual needs. CYB-MFLCs are licensed counselors with a master’s or doctorate degree who have passed a criminal background check. CYB-MFLCs play a key role in giving military children the support they may need during some of the more challenging periods of military life.

Support and services

CYB-MFLC services benefit military children in several ways, including positively affecting behavior, performance in school, and relationships with family members and teachers. The overall goal is to give the military child, as well as the rest of the family, free or low-cost support through difficult situations. CYB-MFLCs can address:

  • feelings and issues related to self-esteem
  • communication and relationships at home and at school
  • life skills such as problem solving, conflict resolution, and adjusting to change
  • behavioral issues including bullying and anger management
  • changes on the home front such as deployment and reunion, divorce, and grief and loss

Counseling services provided by CYB-MFLCs are confidential, with the exception of domestic violence, abuse, and suicidal or homicidal threats.


Any children of active duty or Reserve service members or the Civil Expeditionary Workforce (CEW) are eligible for support from CYB-MFLCs. Non-medical counseling and other associated CYB-MFLC services are available to adolescents eighteen years of age and younger as long as a parent or legal guardian gives consent.

Finding services

Programs and services offered by CYB-MFLCs vary from one installation to another, so it’s best to check with your installation directly to discover counseling options and associated activities. You may find support for your child through one of the following programs:

Child Development Centers (CDC). Visit MilitaryINSTALLATIONS and select “Child Development Centers” in the program or service dropdown box. Enter your installation name and click “Go” to be directed to contact information for your local CDC. Inquire locally for more information about how CYB-MFLCs are involved.

Installation-based youth and teen centers. By selecting “Youth Programs/Centers” in the dropdown box on the MilitaryINSTALLATIONS webpage, you will be directed to contact information for services on your installation.

Department of Defense Education Activity Schools (DoDEA). At DoDEA you can browse materials written specifically for parents and find CYB-MFLC’s presence on the website through links such as “Deployment Support,” the Bullying Awareness and Prevention Program, and the “Safe Schools” newsletter.

Joint Family Support and Assistance Program (JFSAP). JFSAP partners with organizations in your local community and each state has its own unique program. Search for your state’s specific JFSAP information here.

Operation Purple camps. The goal of Operation Purple camps is to give military children a safe place to learn to cope with the emotions and reality of deployment. Operation Purple campers get to take a break from the stressors leading up to, during, or following deployment by spending a fun-filled week with other military kids in the same situation. A variety of camps may be available near you, including camps specifically for military teens or retreats for the entire family. For availability and more information, visit the National Military Family Association website.

Operation: Military Kids (OMK). OMK works with several organizations that may be found near you, including Boys and Girls Clubs, 4-H Clubs, the American Legion, the National Association of Child Care Resources and Referral Agencies (NACCRRA), and the Military Child Education Coalition (MCEC). For more information about OMK’s partnership with these organizations and to locate a branch near your installation, visit the OMK website.

Through each of these resources, CYB-MFLCs support children, families, teachers, and related programs through non-medical counseling, observation, and training in the areas of behavior management and engaging educational techniques.